Clemson Golf Team Travels to East Regional


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Clemson, SC-Clemson's number-one ranked men's golf team will begin
pursuit of its first National Championship when it play at the 2003
NCAA East Regional the par 72 University Course at Auburn May 15-17.
Clemson will be one of 27 teams competing in the three-day 54-hole
event. The top 10 teams advance to the National Championships at
Oklahoma State May 27-30.


Clemson has advanced to national play through the regional
every year since 1989, the first year the regional competition began. Clemson is the defending Co-Champion of the East Regional (with
Georgia Tech) and has won the East Regional a total of five times,
more than any other school. Clemson's other East Regional
championship seasons took place in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 2000.


Clemson is one of the favorites to win the regional this year based
on its number-one overall ranking and record against the other 26
teams in the field this year. Clemson has a 54-5 record against the
other 26 teams in the East Regional this year. That includes a
38-2 mark against the other ACC and SEC teams in the East Regional
field this year.


Last year, D.J. Trahan won the individual championship of the East
Regional, just the second Clemson golfer to win the regional
championship. He had a score of 210 at Settindown Creek in Roswell,
GA to win the title. This will be Trahan's fourth appearance in the
regional and he has already played on two Clemson championship teams.


Trahan, the number-two ranked player in college golf this year
(trailing only Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State), has a 70.69 stroke
average this year and has finished in the top 10 in eight of his 11
tournaments. He is Clemson's career leader in stroke average with a
71.43 figure and is also the school's all-time leader in rounds in
the 60s with 43. He needs one round of par or better to break John
Engler's career record of 95.


Trahan won the Mercedes Benz Collegiate in Jacksonville, FL in
February and has five career collegiate wins to tie Chris Patton's
Clemson career record. He leads the nation final round scoring
average (69.10), in eagles (10) and par four stroke average (3.95)
so far this season. He is also second in Clemson history in career
stroke average in NCAA Tournament play with a 71.95 figure for his 21
career rounds.


Jack Ferguson has been Clemson's best player over the last four
tournaments with a 70.42 stroke average for that period of time. He
has four straight top five finishes, including a second place at the
Atlanta Intercollegiate last week when he shot an eight-under par
208. He has seven top 10s to rank second to Trahan and five top five
finishes in what should be an All-America sophomore season.

Ferguson, who will be making his first NCAA Tournament appearance,
leads the nation in fewest double bogeys per round and has been very
consistent of late. He has a streak of 16 consecutive rounds at par
or better, a Clemson record, and is 27-under-par for his last four
tournaments. His eight-foot birdie putt on the last hole in the last
group, gave Clemson the ACC Championship by one stroke on April 20th.

Matt Hendrix has ranked among the top 15 players in the nation all
spring and like Ferguson comes into the NCAAs on a roll. He has
consecutive top 10 finishes entering the NCAA tournament and has five
top 10s for the season. His 71.44 stroke average is third best on
the team for the season and he ranks second to Trahan this season in
under-par rounds with 16. He had a fourth place finish in Atlanta
with a 209 score, his third fourth-place finish of the season.

Hendrix will join Ferguson as a member of the United States team in
the US vs. Japan Collegiate Matches this summer in Japan. This will
be Hendrix second NCAA Tournament appearance. He had rounds of 70
and 71 in the second and third rounds, respectively, at last year's
NCAA championships at Ohio State to help Clemson to a third-place
finish.


Gregg Jones will be making his third NCAA Tournament appearance. He
has performed with great consistency in his previous two outings, and
has a 71.92 stroke average for his 14 NCAA Tournament rounds. Eight
of his 14 career NCAA Tournament rounds have been under par.

This season Jones has a 72.75 stroke average, fourth best on the
team, but he is still ranked among the top 50 golfers in the nation
according to the Golfweek/Sagarin computer rankings. The first-team
All-ACC golfer each of the last two years has a 72.59 career stroke
average, sixth best in Clemson history.


Ben Duncan will be the Clemson starting lineup for the NCAAs for the
second straight year. The senior playing in his 32nd career
tournament has a 74.03 stroke average for the season. He had a pair
of top 10 finishes to start the season, including a career best
fifth-place finish at the Carpet Capital Classic in September.

Duncan has played the number-one schedule in the nation according to
the individual player ratings published by Golfweek/Sagarin. A
senior, Duncan earned his degree from Clemson on May 9.
Head Coach Larry Penley has been the man who has guided Clemson to
each of its five previous East Regional Championships. This is the
20th straight year he has taken Clemson to the NCAA tournament. In
fact, he has led the Tigers to the national competition of the NCAAs
each of his previous 19 years, something only he and Oklahoma State
Coach Mike Holder can claim.


Penley already has an ACC Championship on his resume for this year
and now has seven ACC titles for his career. He is second in Clemson
athletics history in top 20 seasons with 16, trailing only the 19
accumulated by former soccer coach Dr. I.M. Ibrahm. Overall, Penley
has 52 tournament titles to his credit, including four this year. A
victory at the East Regional would give Clemson a record tying five
tournament championships in the same year.

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